The Pebble Time Kickstarter campaign has ended with the smartwatch attracting more than $20 million in funding.
Pebble wrapped up the Kickstarter campaign for its next big smartwatch project recently, with the final funding figure standing at $20,338,986 – that works out to around £13.7 million.
The company has attracted some criticism for turning to Kickstarter again. The original Pebble smartwatch was, of course, funded in this way, but that device’s success has led many to believe that the company is no longer deserving of such funding.
Pebble now employs more than 130 staff, and has raised more than $26 million in outside funding. That’s not the typical profile of a small-scale startup seeking alternative funding through Kickstarter.
Back at the beginning of March, however, Pebble spoke to TrustedReviews and defended its decision to return to Kickstarter.
“Pebble wouldn’t exist today without Kickstarter. Communities brought us here, communities wanted us and that’s why we are here,” said company spokesperson Monica Isla.
Isla also claimed that those original Pebble backers “deserve the opportunity to be part of the launch because they are the ones who built us and by looking at the support you can see that’s the case.”
Indeed, with the figure rocketing through the $20 million mark in the intervening weeks, the level of support for the Pebble Time’s Kickstarter campaign can’t be denied.
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The Pebble Time itself is a considerable improvement over the original, with a sleeker design, a waterproof build, and a new colour E Ink display.
It’ll also support the addition of smart straps, which will be able to add functions such as heart-rate monitors and NFC readers for mobile payments.
The Pebble Time will start shipping in May, and it will cost $199 (£134) plus shipping.